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Posts posted by roysue

  1. Just back from Key West and took the Echo Catamran.  We did dolphin watching and snorkel.  We sailed with Russ as captain and Nicki as first mate.  It was very disapointing.  The dolphin watching was nice, even good.  The day was windy and they took use to a "sponge nursery" to snorkel.  The wind was strong and the current was strong in the opposite direction.  This made it a very rough swim in nearly any direction.  I am an experienced snorkeler.  No one from the company got into the water with us.  When I realized I was getting tired, I headed back toward the boat.  After several minutes of swimming, I was not only not making progress, I was being pushed in the wrong direction.  And I was getting more tired.  My sister was helping me but she was getting tired as well.  My brother in law ended up assisting both of us back the boat.  Neither the "captain" or "first mate" had paid a bit of attention, let alone attempt to assist.  I have snorkeled all over the Caribbean and this is the worst experience I have ever had.  There were some very positive reviews for this group but there are some reviews very similar to our experience.  It may depend on which crew you draw. 


    Just my experience

  2. We are currently looking at Octopus Sailing.  We haven't taken this tour yet but are getting ready to book it.  Looks good.  We are sailing in 3 weeks so I could let you know after that.

  3. My husband and I usually cruise with another couple.  We are considering a cruise as one of 5 couples.  Ten people sounds like it could be difficult.


    I am looking for hints to create a smooth experience.  Any thoughts appreciated.

  4. On 3/27/2019 at 1:10 PM, Jim_Iain said:

    I was searching recently as to where Infinity was in April 8-13.   It was missing from Celebrity Site.   When I googled on the date it revealed that it was chartered for a "Lifestyle Cruises" (another word for Swingers Cruise)  It appears it offers both clothing optional sun bathing and "Play Rooms". 

    We were staying at Embassy Suites the same weekend they were getting ready to board.  I think they called it a "bliss"  cruise.  

  5. Our group has sailed the Equinox many times.  We sail in side by side balcony cabins.  We have always asked to have the divider open and it is done before dinner on embarkation day.  Hope this helps and you enjoy your cruise!  

  6. To answer you question, you will need to walk into the water from the beach and get in a small boat to be noticed out to the catamaran which is in deeper water.  I don't know how you get into the catamaran because we got stood up! We arrived at the beach location at 12:30 as instructed.  There was no Dolphin and we were told that our reservation didn't go well.  We were assured that they were substituting us into a comparable catamaran.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  We got on a catamaran that was about 1 trip away from the salvage yard!  It was awful!  They did end up refunding our money but it was a disappointment.  On the up side, we saw the Dolphin at the snorkeling site and she is beautiful!  Hope that helps!

  7. Why do I get this feeling your embellishing a bit? Parents with children have a right to purchase a balcony. What were the kids yelling? Who were they yelling at? Were they just kids being kids and talking loud?


    What difference does it make what they were yelling or who they were yelling at.? The op said they were banging on partitions. I find no circumstances that would be ok. There is some level of noise on most balconies. Our group of adults constantly remind each other that there are people sleeping, having breakfast or otherwise enjoying their balcony. I appreciate that parents and kids have paid for their cruise. Their enjoyment should not be so obtrusive to others.


    I think you're upset that there were kids with a balcony near you and you want total silence, peace and quiet. May be a bit of bad luck ....Correct me if I'm wrong ...... Seems like a lot of speculation.


    I think a little courtesy goes along way. Just my opinion

  8. There are a lot of things to do in Aruba. They have many wonderful beaches but I don't know the best place to search for sea glass. You can do a search on the board for "beach" and a ton of info will come up.

  9. Aruba is a wonderful port and there is a lot to do there. Your cruise line's website will tell you what shore excursions they are offering and your time choices. There may or may not be deep see fishing offered. I have a stop in Aruba In October and I don't see deep sea fishing as an offering. I also checked Trip Advisor and I don't see anyone talking about it there either.


    Aruba will have a ton of folks at the port offering tours. You may find fishing there. I know you will find a ton of folks who want to take you to the beach, take you on an island tour, or perhaps snorkeling.


    Your best bet is to check what the cruise line offers first. Then you know how much time you have to do another excursion.


    A caution for 1st time cruiser - if you take a ship offered tour, they will get your back to the ship on time or wait for you. In extreme cases, the cruise ship may leave and make arrangements for you to get to the next port but that is rare.


    If you book a private excursion, they probably would not wait for you if you are late getting back. That is unlikely to happen in Aruba because you have such a long day there.


    Hope this helps.


    Whichever you choose, enjoy!

  10. $21 for the 14 and 18 yo, $11 for those over 60.


    We took a taxi from the port. None of us can remember how much it cost, so it couldn't have been too significant.


    The have their own website which will give you a lot of information. We did the shark, turtle and stingray feeding which was very good.,



  11. Hi and welcome to Cruise Critic.


    I usually use a local travel agent who I have built a relationship . She does a good job. Price is not always the cheapest. She often gets us perks that make up the difference. On e the rare instance that we have had a problem ( flight cancelled) she has been terrific.


    I have never tried an on line TA in the traditional sense, whoever I have used a travel agent through one of the big warehouse stores. Got a great price, great perks, picked our own cabin and had a lovely problem free cruise.


    I would be willing to try an online TA but I have cruise a number of times before. My only concern is who to call if there is an unexpected issue.


    Whatever you choose, enjoy!

  12. Hell Joyfullife!


    I usually cruise out of FLL butI'm taking an October cruise departing from Miami. I don't know whole lot about Miami but I'll share what I can.


    I went to hotels.com and was able to find a map of the area with the hotels marked on it. It gives you a way to see prices and locations. The map also shows a number of Miami locations that might be interesting to check out.


    There is a board called Florida Departures. You will find a lot more info on there. Tons of info on where to stay, how to use the local transportation and what to see.


    Good luck and enjoy your cruise!

  13. Wow!! Thanks for very undiplomatically answering my question and making a mom travelling with two kids feel totally stupid.

    Feel free to never comment on my posts ever again. Thanks


    I think your concern is warranted. We are a group of 4, 2 adult couples. I would not bring children with me on this island. Just my opinion. More than that, I am sorry you were treated so rudely on this board. There was no excuse for that.

  14. cruisechev - I'll give a try to answer some questions.


    Our group is Platinum on Princess but our last few cruises have been on Celebrity.


    Celebrity is a little quieter than Princess. Some of the furnishings are a little nicer. Balcony cabins on Celebrity have a small sofa rather than the 2 chairs that Princess has. Celebrity has a solarium which is a pool and lounge area that is limited to adults. Usually very quiet in there. There is no charge. They also have an area call the Persian Gardens. It is an up charge area and I don't know much about it. Celebrity has it's own buffet. It is the usual buffet. They have decent pizza, a pasta station, a stir fry station. It's decent. There are a few no charge venues for snacks but not much else for a meal except the dining rooms. Celebrity does not have do-it-yourself laundry facility, which I do miss. There may be a few less kids on Celebrity but we usually take 10 day cruises and neither Princess nor Celebrity have many kids on the cruises longer than 7 days.


    Hope that is helpful!


  15. mizzoumom1111 - Welcome to Cruise Critic!

    I am sailing out of Miami on October and have done a bit of research. There are some hotels that offer free shuttles. It seems like the "free shuttle" is built into the hotel rate. After looking at the hotel map on a popular hotel search site, I chose the one closest to the port - Holiday Inn Port of Miami-Downtown. I think the taxi should be cheap from there, compared to other locations.

    There is quite a bunch of information on the Florida Departures board. You can actually do a search for "miami" and it will bring up all the Miami related threads. Good luck planning!:D

  16. Just of the Reflection had a CC. We had no bottle of wine/champagne. I found the tote bag stuffed in the bottom of a drawer, could have been left from a previous cruiser as far as I know. No pillow menu. To top it off, we had the worst room steward we have every had. Late to do morning service. Late to do evening turn down. Even had to ask for towels one day. Did it ruin my cruise? of course not. I enjoyed the foot stool on the balcony. I would only book a CC if it was cheaper. I see absolutely no value in it as it exists today.

  17. Having read this post I will give you my view of my recent Eclipse sailing, one we have done for many years.

    There is not massively anything that glaringly detracts from the enjoyment of the cruise but if you have sailed over a number of years there are certain “that’s unusual”. I will give a few examples, fewer staff around the pool and pool bar, cuts of meat that would not have been near the MDR menu even four years ago. I enjoy a nice malt whiskey and upgraded to the premium package, however not all bars stock the premium whiskey. In the past not a problem the barman would have it next day or even go to another bar and get it. Not this time they are not allowed to stock them.

    I also noticed that when folkes were ordering cocktails the spirits used were low cost unbranded cheaper brands.

    Another area where X has been clever is that there used to be an assistant steward, (I think that the recommended tip per day was $2.50 not sure). The assistant is no longer, but his recommended tip remains in the total daily recommended amount charged, very creative.

    We have two cruises booked however we spent a week in an hotel in Sarasota and the experience has made us perhaps rethink our vacation plans. My brother is trying to persuade us to try Siversea or Seabourne and to be honest that may be the way to go.


    This describes my last cruise on Reflection. Some of the cut backs are less noticeable but they are there. The service in the dining room, IMO, is at an all time low. The lacks of an assistant waiter is bad. It has just added more waiting time in the DR. Less entertainment going on in the evening. Take a Compass, mark out all the "up charge" stuff they want you to do, like wine classes, and see what is left - not much.

  18. You might consider Embassy Suites on 17th street. It meets most of your needs. There is no airport shuttle, however taxis are plentiful and fare from FLL to Embassy suites is about $15.00. Embassy Suites has free wi fi, hot breakfast in the morning and a beautiful pool area. They also have a manger's reception that starts at 5 or 5:30 pm that has snacks and drinks for free.The Harbor Shops is an easy walk. There is a Publix, a liquor store and tons of good restaurants. On the morning of the cruise, they have vans going to the port for about $10/pp.

    Hope that helps!

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